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Prince Charles, Sophie Wessex and Princess Anne host garden party – but The Queen stays away

Prince Charles, Prince Edward, Sophie Wessex and Princess Anne received guests at a beautiful garden party this afternoon – while the Queen was not in attendance, despite being in residence.

The Royal Family is on a trip to Scotland for the annual Holyrood Week, which takes place between late June and early July. It sees the Queen, 96, and her relatives tour Scotland meeting Scots from all walks of life.

A key feature of the visit is today’s garden party at the Palace of Holyroodhouse, which recognizes the good work of the Scots in the community.

Performing for the Queen, the Countess of Wessex wore a dusty pink dress complete with white stilettos and understated silver jewellery, while the Princess Royal wore a jewel-colored teal dress with a pale blue jacket and white hat to greet the guests.

Earlier in the day, Her Majesty met with Scottish Prime Minister Nicola Sturgeon and Alison Johnstone, the Speaker of the Scottish Parliament.

Princess Anne, Prince Charles, Prince Edward, Sophie Wessex and Vice Admiral Sir Tim Laurence posed for photos as they welcomed guests to the garden party at the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh

Princess Anne, Prince Charles, Prince Edward, Sophie Wessex and Vice Admiral Sir Tim Laurence posed for photos as they welcomed guests to the garden party at the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh

Princess Anne, who wore a jewel-colored teal dress and light blue coat, chatted with the guests as the garden party started at the Palace of Holyroodhouse

The Princess Royal welcomed the guests to the garden party this afternoon

Princess Anne, who wore a jewel-colored teal dress and light blue coat, chatted with the guests as the garden party started at the Palace of Holyroodhouse

Prince Charles (pictured with Sophie Wessex) stepped out to host the party alongside his siblings and their partners

Prince Charles (pictured with Sophie Wessex) stepped out to host the party alongside his siblings and their partners

The Prince of Wales wore a suit with tails and carried a top hat in one hand and an umbrella in the other

The Prince of Wales wore a suit with tails and carried a top hat in one hand and an umbrella in the other

Prince Edward smiled as he greeted guests wearing a tank top and a red carnation on his lapel

Prince Edward smiled as he greeted guests wearing a tank top and a red carnation on his lapel

At a meeting at the Palace of Holyroodhouse, Ms Sturgeon gave the Queen several gifts, including a limited-edition bottle of whiskey. The meeting came just a day after Ms Sturgeon announced she was proposing a second Scottish independence referendum on 19 October 2023.

But at the same location, the Queen was found to be absent this afternoon as three of her children greeted guests invited to the garden party.

Princess Anne, Prince Charles and Prince Edward appeared at the party and posed for a family photo, alongside Sophie Wessex and Vice Admiral Sir Timothy Laurence.

The trip to Holyrood Week marks the first time the Queen has been spotted with the royal family since the platinum anniversary earlier this month.

On Monday, the monarch was joined by Prince Edward and Sophie Wessex at the traditional opening of the week. The Earl and Countess of Fofar, as they are known in Scotland, appeared alongside the Queen in Edinburgh at the historic Ceremony of the Keys.

Prince Charles appeared to straighten his tie as onlookers smiled as he greeted guests at the garden party

Prince Charles appeared to straighten his tie as onlookers smiled as he greeted guests at the garden party

Prince Edward met guests from all over Scotland who were invited in recognition of their community work

Prince Edward met guests from all over Scotland who were invited in recognition of their community work

Beautiful in pink!  Sophie Wessex wore a sleek dusty pink dress with a pink hat and wizard as she welcomed guests

Beautiful in pink! Sophie Wessex wore a sleek dusty pink dress with a pink hat and wizard as she welcomed guests

The Countess of Wessex smiled as she welcomed guests to the Palace of Holyroodhouse

The Countess of Wessex smiled as she welcomed guests to the Palace of Holyroodhouse

The mother of two looked the epitome of elegance, wearing understated jewelry and a silver watch as she welcomed guests to the party

The mother of two looked the epitome of elegance, wearing understated jewelry and a silver watch as she welcomed guests to the party

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During the ceremony, the Queen is presented with the key to Edinburgh, the ‘ancient and hereditary kingdom of Scotland’. As is tradition, she then returns them to elected officials in the city for safekeeping.

The Queen beamed at the ceremony on Monday as she appeared with a walking stick. Buckingham Palace has said she suffers from ‘episodic mobility problems’, which sometimes require her to use walking aids.

Ahead of the platinum anniversary celebrations that marked her 70th year on the throne, earlier in June, the monarch had withdrawn from several appearances, including the state opening of parliament in May.

Prince Charles and Prince William stepped in and instead attended the House of Lords where the Prince of Wales delivered the Queen’s speech.

Scottish Prime Minister Nicola Sturgeon wore a pale pink suit and posed for a selfie with one of the guests at the garden party

Scottish Prime Minister Nicola Sturgeon wore a pale pink suit and posed for a selfie with one of the guests at the garden party

The Prime Minister turned out to be an unofficial photographer for the event, as she also took pictures of other guests

The Prime Minister turned out to be an unofficial photographer for the event, as she also took pictures of other guests

Prince Charles welcomed a group of smartly dressed garden party guests wearing traditional Scottish tartan and hats

Prince Charles welcomed a group of smartly dressed garden party guests wearing traditional Scottish tartan and hats

Scottish Prime Minister Nicola Sturgeon, who met the Queen at the Palace of Holyroodhouse earlier today, arrived at the garden party

Scottish Prime Minister Nicola Sturgeon, who met the Queen at the Palace of Holyroodhouse earlier today, arrived at the garden party

The Prime Minister, who gave the Queen a bottle of whiskey in limited edition, chatted with other guests

The Prime Minister, who gave the Queen a bottle of whiskey in limited edition, chatted with other guests

Prince Charles took the reins in hosting the garden party, performing for his mother as he donned a pinstripe suit and tails

Prince Charles took the reins in hosting the garden party, performing for his mother as he donned a pinstripe suit and tails

Prince Charles appeared to be sharing a joke with one of the guests at the garden party when he greeted her

Prince Charles appeared to be sharing a joke with one of the guests at the garden party when he greeted her

Hundreds of people from across Scotland were invited to the annual garden party in recognition of their work

Hundreds of people from across Scotland were invited to the annual garden party in recognition of their work

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